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Big Pharma Is Chasing a $55 Billion Prize of Safer Blood Thinners

Bloomberg reported:

Blood clots are estimated to cause about 1 in 4 deaths worldwide, and the leading blood thinners prescribed to prevent them are among the most widely used medicines. Known under the brands Eliquis and Xarelto, the drugs are called Factor Xa inhibitors for the enzyme they block in the body’s natural clotting process.

In rare cases, however, switching off Factor Xa can cause unintended consequences, ranging from bruising easily to life-threatening internal bleeding, limiting who can take the medicines. Now drugmakers are working on alternatives that act on a different enzyme to dramatically reduce those risks.

It will take a few more years before any of them become available: Three of the experimental drugs that have generated buzz — from Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and its partner Johnson & Johnson, and Novartis spinout Anthos Therapeutics — are in late-stage trials. And none would have meaningful sales until around 2028 after Eliquis and Xarelto are set to lose patent protection, Andrew Baum, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., says.

But the long-term potential is huge. He estimates the new drugs could become a $55 billion category by around 2035.

Unmasked: Documents Reveal Fauci’s Staggering Pandemic-Period Profits

The Daily Wire reported:

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s net worth soared during the COVID pandemic, leaving the career government worker sitting on a nearly $13 million nest egg, according to newly uncovered documents.

The 81-year-old director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases added some $5 million to his household net worth from 2019-2021, according to financial disclosures obtained by OpenTheBooks.com. Fauci, the federal government’s highest-paid employee including the president, earns $480,000 per year.

“While millions of Americans suffered under his pandemic policies, Fauci’s personal profits soared,” wrote OpenTheBooks.com CEO Adam Andrzejewski.

Mandatory disclosures show the Fauci household’s net worth jumped from $7.6 million at the beginning of 2019 to over $12.6 million by the end of 2021.  Fauci augmented his generous taxpayer-funded salary with an array of prizes, perks, royalties and investment income. One example was the $1 million prize awarded to Fauci by the Israel-based Dan David Foundation for “speaking truth to power” and “defending science” during the Trump administration.

Gov. Hochul Takes New Steps to Fight Polio Amid Outbreak in New York: ‘an Imminent Threat to Public Health’

New York Daily News reported:

Gov. Hochul announced new steps to combat the outbreak of polio in several suburban New York counties and New York City.

The governor said on Wednesday that fresh measures would bolster coordination between state and local health departments and improve vaccination rates, especially among children.

New York State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett declared polio as an “immediate threat to public health” — a move that unlocks money and other resources to increase vaccinations.

Pandemic May Have Made Young Adults More Neurotic and Less Agreeable, Study Finds

NBC News reported:

Adults became less extroverted, open, agreeable and conscientious during the pandemic, a new study found.

The results, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One, showed that the degree of change was roughly equivalent to a decade’s worth of average personality changes. Young adults in particular grew moodier, more emotional and more sensitive to stress in 2021 compared to years past, according to the study.

The researchers analyzed survey results from more than 7,100 U.S. adults from January 2021 to February 2022 and compared their responses to earlier in the pandemic — the period from March to December 2020 — as well as to responses from previous years.

The survey was based on the Big Five traits, a common way researchers evaluate personalities. Participants were scored according to their levels of neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

New Guidance Focuses on Long COVID in Kids — PASC Collaborative Cautions That Long COVID Can Present Differently in Children Than in Adults

MedPage Today reported:

When it comes to long COVID in children, physicians should focus on mitigating symptoms and encouraging multidisciplinary rehabilitation designed to improve age-appropriate development, according to new clinical guidance from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R).

Long COVID can present differently in children, so standard practices for managing the condition in adults should not be automatically applied to pediatric cases, according to Sarah Sampsel, MPH, a healthcare quality consultant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and colleagues, who published the guidance in PM&R.

For instance, children with long COVID may have fatigue or attention problems at school or in extracurricular activities, or they may experience ongoing fever, headaches or sleep issues, the guidance states.

Scientists Honored for COVID Tracker, Prenatal Test

Associated Press reported:

A Johns Hopkins University scientist who created a website to track COVID-19 cases worldwide is the recipient of this year’s Lasker award for public service.

The $250,000 awards, announced Wednesday by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, recognize achievements in medical research.

The public service award went to Lauren Gardner, an engineer who studies the spread of diseases. She worked with her lab team to develop the COVID-19 tracker as the coronavirus began spreading worldwide in January 2020. The dashboard became a key resource and now tracks global cases, deaths, vaccines and more. Through it all, the team has made the tracker freely available to the public.

U.S. CDC Expands Pre-Exposure Eligibility for Monkeypox Vaccine

Reuters reported:

At-risk people nationwide will now be able to get Bavarian Nordic’s (BAVA.CO) Jynneos monkeypox vaccine before being exposed to the disease, U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said on Wednesday.

The CDC had previously recommended vaccination after known or presumed exposure to the virus for most groups deemed to be at high risk of contracting it, as well as for those who had visited a geographic area where known monkeypox transmission is occurring.

At-risk individuals will now be eligible to receive the vaccine before exposure as the CDC shifts to a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) strategy, Walensky said.

Vaccine Appears to Protect Against Monkeypox, CDC Says

Associated Press reported:

At-risk people who received a single dose of the monkeypox vaccine in U.S. efforts against the virus appeared to be significantly less likely to get sick, public health officials announced Wednesday, even as they urged a second dose for full protection.

It was the first look public health officials have offered into how the Jynneos vaccine is affecting monkeypox, a virus that is primarily spread among men who have sex with infected men.

Roughly 800,000 first and second doses of the vaccine have been administered across the country to people who are considered at high risk for becoming infected with the virus, White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator Bob Fenton said.

There is no scientifically conclusive data available to prove the effectiveness of the Jynneos vaccine against monkeypox.

Still, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, lab studies show the highest level of immunity from the virus is reached after people get a second dose of the vaccine, calling it “really important.”

Ebola Experimental Vaccine Trial May Begin Soon in Uganda

STAT News reported:

A clinical trial of one or perhaps two experimental vaccines designed to protect against the Ebola Sudan virus could soon begin in Uganda, as long as the country agrees to allow the research to take place, an official of the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

The trial could get underway within a couple of weeks and definitely before the end of October, said Ana Maria Henao-Restrepo, who heads WHO’s R&D Blueprint effort to develop drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines to respond to outbreaks of rare and dangerous pathogens.

Henao-Restrepo and her team in WHO’s Health Emergencies Program have been meeting since last week to try to determine if any of the vaccines in development are far enough along to warrant testing in the fast-growing Ebola Sudan outbreak, which was first recognized early last week.

This is the first Ebola Sudan outbreak in a decade, presenting a rare opportunity to test a vaccine for this species of Ebola virus. Although Uganda announced the first confirmed case on Sept. 20, the first case may date back to early August. There have already been at least 36 cases and 23 deaths.